The U.S. Coast Guard’s plan to conduct dockside safety checks of Dungeness crab vessels, known as Operation Safe Crab, will be temporarily postponed due to the delay in the start date of the crab season in Oregon and Washington states, and a low number of fisherman on the docks.
“We don’t have a resume date set yet as the start date could be delayed even further,” said Dan Hardin, the Coast Guard’s district fishing vessel safety coordinator. “We will be keeping our eyes on what the states decide to do, then plan on putting our people on the docks to coincide with the opening.”
The intent of Operation Safe Crab is to improve safety and reduce fatalities by examining Dungeness crab fishing vessels in every port in Oregon and Washington as crews prepare their vessel prior to season opener.
The operation’s spot checks, inspections and training began in 2000. Since that year, fatalities during the crab season have been significantly reduced. There was one death related to the Dungeness crab fishery last year when the fishing vessel Ella Ann overturned in Willapa Bay, Wash., with two people on board. Neither person was wearing a life jacket at the time.